Teaming up again with the University of Melbourne and their Masters of Journalism Program,
Samar Khouri has joined us as an intern during the second year of her uni life. 


The Newbie at Newsmodo

The process of spending long hours hunting for internship placement, perfecting my CV and cover letter, preparing for interviews and landing a job is officially over.

Making the transition from university classes to corporate cubicles can be nerve-wracking for most newbies. The awkwardness and uncomfortable interaction is palpable, especially for a wide-eyed, foreign Masters student like myself who is oblivious to Melbourne’s workplace culture.

Having previously worked in the endless sunshine and multicultural city of Dubai, I thought my first day at Newsmodo would be overwhelming. It felt otherwise.


Family-friendly workspace

Stepping into Newsmodo’s Melbourne office I felt welcomed by the friendly staff  and impressed by their efficiency as they promptly organised a computer for my 20-day internship. While waiting for a laptop from the IT department the team suggested using my phone to research Newsmodo. In the first few minutes at the office, I felt like a journalist, using whatever resources available to acquire information in the pseudo-newsroom.

A couple of hours getting settled and learning the ins and outs of the job, the bright and cheery office space culture, consisting of diverse, unique personalities – eccentric, serious, outgoing, funny and supportive – gave a close-knit, familial vibe.. Newsmodo treats their employees like family.


It’s all in the little things

I was impressed by the little things I learned in my first few hours at the agency. From the years I spent both interning and working at news outlets and public relations agencies, not once have my ex-bosses advised me to politely accept a cup of coffee or a glass of water when offered on my first day. Unbeknownst to me, this small gesture displays self-confidence.


Understanding Newsmodo

On the first day of work interns are exposed to a wide scope of information, from learning new co-workers’ names to understanding the company’s creative processes. As an aspiring journalist, it was natural of me to conduct quick, in-depth research on the company to get a clear understanding of my assigned role before arriving on the first day.


Bringing something to the table

The workplace, no doubt, is governed by today’s youth. The advantage of interning in a small organisation is that there is room for innovation and sharing creative ideas, insights and current cultural trends.

Being a fresh graduate from the prestigious University of Melbourne, which ranked 32 in top 100 Australian universities in the Times Higher Education world university rankings, I assumed my new co-workers would have overly high expectations of my journalistic knowledge. However, I noticed it was not the case.

There were no barriers when giving my opinion or perspective. In return, the team supported me by adding their professional insight. I came to realise that there is more opportunity to improve my skills and to grow as a person in this type of environment.

It can be challenging to make that switch from student to staff as it may take a while to learn the ropes of the workplace and adapt to the office culture.  Starting as an intern placed in a small company like Newsmodo has advantages in developing my research and journalistic skills. This will be a great start to slowly becoming a fully-qualified journalist.




Samar Khouri




Header image credit: Kevin Bhagat